|7:30 PM PT8:30 PM MT9:30 PM CT10:30 PM ET3:30 GMT11:30 8:30 PM MST10:30 PM EST7:30 UAE (+1)04:3022:30 ET9:30 PM CTNaN:� , December 26, 2018
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California Attendance: 19,068
Kings, Clippers brace for high-scoring game
Sacramento Kings at Los Angeles Clippers
- The Clippers defeated the Kings, 133-121, when these teams met in November. Los Angeles is 27-5 (.844) against Sacramento since 2010-11, the best record by any NBA team against a single opponent over that time (minimum 30 games).
- The Kings have won two games in a row and at 18-15 (.545), are off to their best 33-game start since beginning the 2004-05 season 22-11 (.667). Sacramento picked up its 18th win of the season on December 23 -- the team didn't reach 18 wins until February 13 last season.
- The Clippers are 2-2 in their last four games, but have scored at least 125 points on 50.0 percent shooting in all four. Los Angeles is the first team to score 125+ and shoot 50.0 percent or better in four or more consecutive games since the Trail Blazers did so in six straight games in November 1990.
- The Clippers shot 78.3 percent (18-for-23) from three-point range in their last game, a 129-127 loss at Golden State. That was the highest three-point percentage in a losing effort in NBA history (minimum 20 three-point attempts).
- Buddy Hield has scored at least 20 points in 10 of his last 11 games, averaging 24.4 points and shooting 47.3 percent from three-point range over that stretch. Hield has connected on 55 three-pointers in December -- only Stephen Curry (58) and James Harden (56) have made more this month.
- Danilo Gallinari is averaging 25.6 points while shooting 60.0 percent overall and 60.7 percent from three over his last five games. Among all players attempting at least 5.0 three-pointers per game this season, Gallinari's three-point percentage (47.3) ranks first.
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LOS ANGELES -- For anybody who failed to get the bushel of points they were looking for under the tree, the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Clippers appear as if they are about to oblige in their post-Christmas clash in Southern California on Wednesday night.
The evidence seems to suggest that points, points and more points are coming, although the Clippers might have a wrinkle that would foil that plan.
Ever since high-scoring reserve guard Lou Williams has returned from a hamstring issue, the Clippers have been back to their fill-it-up ways, with a deluge in the amount of 128 points per game in their last three contests. In the previous four games without Williams, the Clippers had averaged 104.3.
But in Sunday night's thrilling 129-127 defeat to the Golden State Warriors, Williams was poked in the eye by Steph Curry in the fourth quarter. The blow caused him to shoot his two ensuing free throws with his left eye swollen shut (he made one of the two) and he did not play the rest of the way.
Williams is expected to play and the Clippers know they could use him against an opponent averaging 115.1 points per game and coming off consecutive wins.
"Yeah, I think as a team, our swagger is back as a unit," Clippers leading-scorer Tobias Harris said. "It obviously helps having Lou back out here with us. He's another playmaker who can have the ball in his hands and be productive coming of screen-and-rolls and scoring. But we're getting into different sets where we're moving, we're running, we're playing better defense."
Kings catalyst Buddy Hield is not only feeling fine, he is on a roll in December with six consecutive games of 20-or-more points.
Hield not only scored 28 points in each of the Kings' most recent victories. Sunday against the New Orleans Pelicans and Friday against the Memphis Grizzlies he had a career-best 38 in a loss to Oklahoma City on Wednesday.
The third-year guard is averaging 20.1 points this season and is shooting 48-percent from the field, including an impressive 44-percent from 3-point range, 11th best in the NBA among qualifiers.
At 18-15, the Kings are tied with the Houston Rockets for one of the last two playoff spots. They also are one game behind the Clippers.
"We've got some young bodies, some young minds, and the best is in front of us," Kings head coach Dave Joerger said, according to the Sacramento Bee. "We have the vision. We know where we're going. We're all on the same page. And I think that shows our fans and the rest of the nation that we're so solid here, and the next five years are going to be really fun."
More evidence that Kings vs. Clippers could be a high-scoring affair: A 133-121 Clippers victory at Sacramento on Nov. 29 that included 42-point quarters from each side and a combined 71 points in the second quarter alone.
While the Clippers will await Williams? status for Wednesday, they will be without Luc Mbah a Moute (knee) yet again. The forward has been out since October, but head coach Doc Rivers had suggested recently that his defensive-minded forward was getting close to a return.
The Kings have been without forward/center Marvin Bagley since Dec. 14 because a knee injury and he is expected to be re-evaluated soon.
Updated December 25, 2018